CLIFTON, Maine — A Winterport man who slammed on his brakes near the old R. Leon Williams lumber mill on Tuesday night was hit from behind by a dump truck following him, and the impact sent his car into an oncoming mail truck heading toward Bangor.
“Mail was all over the ground,” Deputy Sean McCue of the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department said on Wednesday.
U.S. Postal Service officials arrived at the scene on Route 9 to ensure all the mail was recovered, he said.
The three-vehicle collision happened around 7:15 p.m. A fourth vehicle went into the ditch to avoid the accident and a fifth car, driven by a Bangor man who was following the dump truck, witnessed the accident but was not involved, McCue said.
John Holden, 45, of Winterport was driving a black Honda sedan when he “slowed down very quickly” and was hit by the dump truck driven by Holden resident Jeffrey Faulkner, 36.
“He [Faulkner] applied his brakes very heavily,” which caused him to lose control and slide sideways into Holden’s car. The impact pushed Holden’s Honda into a U.S. mail box truck driven by Laurence Peavey, 47, of Swanville, who was heading in the opposite direction.
“When the mail truck was struck, it went off the road and came to rest sideways on a telephone poll,” McCue said. “It ripped the entire cargo portion of the box truck open,” causing the mail to spill all over the roadway.
“Vehicle number four, which was following the mail truck, went off the road and down into the ditch to avoid the crash,” he said.
Travis Perry, 22, of Columbia Falls was driving the fourth vehicle, a pickup truck.
“The injuries were minor to everyone except for Holden,” McCue said.
Holden was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor with serious injuries after the accident but was conscious when McCue spoke to him Tuesday night. His condition was not available Wednesday evening.